Thursday, May 28, 2015

MoBay

I can't remember what I told you so I can't confidently say what I left out. But I'm pretty sure I told you everything important. I was hoping I'd be training again because Prez told me I'd train again in my last interview. But whatever. I have no aspirations and no preconceptions other than that I'll work hard wherever I go!

MoBay is great, saw white people. In church actually, which was cool, i couldn't say hi because I had to help out all the investigators at church. Our area has a little ghetto but it's mostly just big hills with nice houses. The area isn't bad, it needs a lot of rebuilding as of now. The missionaries here before were in a tri-panionship so a couple areas got neglected naturally. So I get to help with that. We found like, 10 new people to teach my first day so I'm hoping a few of them have good potential. The branch here is awesome! The members are super friendly, it's a functional branch, they love the work, they're all pretty funny. I'm gonna like it here. But the meal appointments are low here, so I'll have to work my magic in that field. We had an investigator at church too! Her name's Lisa, she's pretty new, but I Think she had a really good experience so hopefully she'll be on date this week! The area is super confusing and I'm having a hard time learning it, but I think I'll get the hang of it eventually. I have to.. Lots of tourists, people aren't as blown away by the presence of white people.

The teaching pool is like, 3 people, but I think by the end of the week we should have it up to closer to 7 or 8. We've seen probably close to 5 people that I could see being baptized within the next 3 months if they play their cards right, so we'll see. Elder Jernigan is cool. From Arizona, super smart, super funny, it's going to be a fun companionship! I'm excited to teach with him, we get along great and we think pretty similarly so we get to have some good conversations. I'm serving around Elder Peters who I know, he's training Elder Smith, who's awesome. Then there's some sisters here. It's weird working around sisters. After serving in Spanish Town with only Elders, it's like they're a bunch of aliens. But I'll deal with it. 

My hair is great, I started putting gel in it again because it's that long now. I need the sides trimmed but other wise, it's coming back. Thankfully. No balding or nothing. 

My bike is here. I fixed it up, still gets used every day. It's currently got a flat but I'll fix that later. Needs new lights too, and a reflector. 

I bought some present type stuff for everyone, which you probably won't see until I get home.

But, we got to do a lot of service before I left Spanish Town. I love doing service. We helped till a members farm with some shovels and dug up weeds with machetes, then we got some chocolate tea. Then right after we went to another members house and helped build the foundation for their house. That was fun. 

Transfers was fun as always. It was a nice long drive through Negril to Montego Bay, but we made it before bed time. Rained a lot.

Had a neat little experience the other day where it was my first day, so I haven't met anyone or done anything. I guess we usually send out a nightly scripture text to the members and the people we teach, so Elder Jernigan asked me to send one. So I pondered for a moment and decided to send 2 Nephi 2. Funny enough, one of our investigators was committed to read 2 Nephi 2 this week, we were seeing her the next day, and Elder Jernigan had forgotten to remind her. So that was cool.

Met a guy who's totally a member of the Illuminati. Or some stupid off shoot.

Did a lot of finding

Got fed 3 times on accident! Good day that was.

Other wise, not much else. Elder Jernigan got way sick so we had to stay in for a bit so I got like, 10 hours of extra study time which was awesome. I'm almost done the Book of Mormon again and I'm almost done reading Jesus the Christ. Good books.

I hope everything at home is going good! I don't think I have any new pictures this week. I just never think of taking pictures. But cool.

Love,
Elder Zeck

Transfer News - Montego Bay


This week's been good. The fifth week of the transfer seems slow every time, like waiting for Christmas. I just want to know who's going where! This transfer call was pretty good. I'm going to Montego bay to serve with Elder Jernigan, and Elder Palmer is getting Elder Hunt. So my father, is going to mother (second companion) my son, which would then make Elder Palmer my brother. It's all kinda confusing. But it's neat that Elder Palmer gets to kill off his mother/grandfather. Otherwise nothing special. It just means that it will take even longer to get mail.

We had 6 meal appointments this week! All good.

Had my last lesson with Kevon yesterday, he was pretty upset I was leaving. I bore testimony in sacrament meeting 'cause I was leaving, and he walked in right after. He was kinda late. But I told him after church. We got some pictures together though, I actually have pictures to send home this week. Be proud.

Got a good blood blister on my hand. We did a lot of service this week, which is great, because I love doing service! We helped a family who feeds us a lot to chop some yard in their front yard, and we did heavy duty surgery on a bush in their front yard to try and find the roots for some vines that were killing their plants. My hands were pretty sore after. No sun burns though!

We also got invited to a kid's birthday party! It started like an hour late so we had to go, but we came back the next day and got cake and stuff. It's nice knowing less active families like us enough to feed us, but won't come to church... They're way cool though.

This week, although good for teaching, and I feel like we got a lot done, no body came to church. We expected like, 7. Kind of a bummer to finish off my ministry in Spanish Town, but I had a good time. I'm really going to miss Spanish Town. I remember before I came, specifically saying that I never ever wanted to serve here. Now I'm sad to leave! Obviously I'm not that sad because I'll do whatever God wants and if he wants me to leave then I may as well be happy about it. but I'm going to miss this place with it's obscene violence and confusing culture. We were lucky enough to never be directly involved in anything, but people died in our neighbourhood all the time.

Did service again for a family helping them build a house. I pretty much just used a pick axe to dig up dirt for 3 hours. I just remembered that one awful summer I had to dig out the posts from the old deck. I always felt pretty manly though when I was using a pick axe.

I think we're going to the craft market today to look for stuff. I wanna send some stuff home. I have no idea how... What's our address again? I gotta write that down?

I think that's all the stuff that happened that I'm going to tell you. we taught some good lessons. Nothing super spiritual unfortunately. I just feel like we're teaching a TON of people, but no one really takes it all seriously. Being a missionary is just spending two years being no body's favorite person. And being really sweaty all the time. But I like it a lot I guess. I really do love it, which is weird. We'll see how Mobay goes. I hear a lot of cruise ships dock there so I'll probably see a lot of white people.

Love,
Elder Zeck



Day After Our Mother's Day Skype

hi, it was fun getting to skype!

This week was pretty good over all. Classic example of opposition, Elder Packer and I were biking down a dirt road to an appointment and we stopped for a second to make a phone call, and while I was doing that, some guys in a truck drove by and started calling us Satan and other nonsense. I yelled at them to come and I waved them over, but they just sped up. Classic.

We were looking for a guy named Ryan, found out his yard name was Shadow. I just thought it was funny because the whole time all I could think was "Where oh where oh where is shadow." Like from Bear in the Big blue house... We found him though! We caused a scene because of it, because we had like, 12 people yelling his name and looking for him. We found out we interrupted his FIFA game. whoops. Not sorry

This week I did some thinking, and I realized that I've been teaching people the Book of Mormon wrong! whoops. I've never thought to include in our teaching, to show them how to study. I counselled with some other Elders and it's not really something anyone does. We tell them they need to read and pray and whatever, but I've never done like, a mock study before with them, and I thought it would be good to do it! We tried and I think we did really really well! I think this applies pretty well to all people, this is something I plan on taking home. But...

1. Secure a reverent and revelation-welcoming environment (as much as possible)
2. Pray for understanding and focus
3. Read
4. Ponder
     1. Recount what you read
     2. Write down or think about what you don't understand
     3. Identify the significance of the scriptures read
     4. Liken it and apply it to yourself
5. End with a prayer asking for strength to apply, and continued learning
6. Continue to ponder through the day, especially things you still don't understand

I don't know, I thought it was pretty genius. I've had the chance to teach it 3 or 4 times now and I've found it makes for a really meaningful lesson. I consider this procedure a touch of personal revelation. I've learned a lot in these past 10 months I guess.

Ate a lot of cheese cake. Whoops.

Did some service for a family in the ward. Helped them build a house, we're going back this Wednesday again, it was a lot of fun! People always look at the white people helping out and they look at us funny. I love it when I say hi, and they stare at me like I'm a freak of nature and don't say hi back. That's probably the most fulfilling part of the work... But I do like it.

Played football with some Jamaican youths. Didn't get destroyed, actually got the ball for a bit. Then I got sun burned...

then in church I was used as a visual example and Bishop Lauton made me act out the repentance process for stealing some one's pen.

All in all it was a really good week. Best teaching week for a long time, not much craziness happening. I did a trade off pretty much every day this week so Elder Palmer could get more practice leading the area when I leave. He's going to do just fine when I leave, he's picked up missionary work really easily. Better than I did anyway.

cool, well hope the week is good, tell everyone I love and miss them!

Love,
Elder Zeck

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Productive Week / More Bike Adventures

Hello!

Hey, you should totally send me a CD with that one song i wrote, that's probably on my laptop called "Scared of The Dark" Because I realized that was the only Jesus song I ever wrote. So I could totally listen to it. Or some piano guys or something. I don't know.

I got your package, thanks! didn't get grandmas yet. The jerky is awesome, I'll probably make those cupcakes. Depends on how much more gas we have for the stove.

So I was riding out of the church on Wednesday and my back tire exploded so I had to replace both tubes, and my right gear shifter exploded somehow so I just went to the shop and replaced all that. Then I got home and my front tire already had a puncture in it. i dug the staple out of the tread, then this morning I found a puncture in my back tire... Other wise the last guy who fixed my bike finally did it right, and my centre axle isn't coming loose! So that's exciting, I can finally use all my gears. So that's great. my tires are getting kinda wobbly though. That'll be fixed in a couple weeks. Still need to buy a new front tire reflector and a front light, but I'll get that done.

We had zone meeting this week, talked a lot about revelation and the importance of Church attendance in conversion. Lots of good stuff.

got fed jerk chicken by a member's son yesterday, that was great!

People who don't get baptized because they don't know everything don't understand the Holy Ghost, or Faith. Those are the hardest kinda people to teach. I've been in this church for my whole life and I barely know anything.

I cut another Elder's hair. That was weird. I thought I did a pretty good job considering the only size clippers he had was a 4 and a 2. So nothing could be longer than a half inch. Doesn't look half bad though, then he cut my hair, not as good. I'm going to stop letting white guys cut my hair in this country.

had interviews with Pres, that's always great. Talked a lot about my work and area and stuff.

We've been out of Book of Mormons and restoration pamphlets all week, it's really awful. But it's been a good week. Best week in a while! We didn't feel like it was as busy as most, but we had good lessons, and we taught more than usual. it was a good week over all. I've been studying a lot on how i can better plan for the conversion of those that I teach, and I've realized there is a lot that we need to do, but for those who are willing to learn, it's not all that complicated. it's a matter of explaining our purpose properly. If we explain our purpose well, then we will know instantly if these people will progress, or if they will just float around and not do anything. Most people float around and don't do anything. But when we meet those people who are sincere, that's when all the cool stuff happens.

Not much to tell this week. Saw some baby pit bulls. I love pit bulls.

Hope all is well at home. Still not sure how Skype will work. I think a member is going to bring a laptop to church for us, and I think I'll probably be Skyping around 3 or 3:30 our time, I don't know what time that is for you though. Elder Palmer has to Skype during church to catch his family, so he should be done by 2:30, but I don't really know. I'd just say be on standby between 2:00 my time and 4 my time. What time do you need to have it done by? I can't remember the time change.

Cool, I'll talk to you all on Sunday!

Love,
Elder Zeck